Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Honourable Jonel Powell, has saluted the spirit of resiliency, creativity and innovation that reside within the youth in St. Kitts and Nevis.
In an address to mark November’s commemoration as Youth Month, Minister Powell said that the mind-set of innovation and determination thrives in the hearts of young people as evident in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which he described as “one of the greatest global challenges thus far.”
“Our school-aged youths successfully pursued their education through new online learning platforms,” he stated. “Additionally, we saw an increase in Facebook lives, YouTube tutorials and TikTok videos.”
“For some young persons, this jumpstarted the pursuit of new hobbies and even transformed their hobbies into profitable business ventures. Several of our young established entrepreneurs saw COVID-19 not as the pitfall of their business, but as an opportunity to innovate and adjust their business models to overcome the challenge while satisfying the demands of their clients,” Minister Powell added. “These young people are the embodiment of the strength proclaimed in our National Anthem. They represent and demonstrate what is possible through creativity, innovation, and resilience and we can all take comfort in following their example and mirroring their efforts.”
The minister stated that the Department of Youth Empowerment is looking forward to working closely with the newly established Ministry of Entrepreneurship to collectively continue the empowerment of the nation’s youth.
He also singled out the recently launched St. Kitts and Nevis Robotics Association, noting that they have inspired young Kittitians and Nevisians to enhance their creativity and problem-solving capacity through Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (S.T.E.A.M).
“The Association is ranked number one in the OECS, number two in the Caribbean, and 36 out of 200 countries worldwide,” Minister Powell said. “Their most recent project is creating a human-robot. Plans are underway to enter a team in the Global World Robotics Olympics; a representative team will be selected from a national competition. We should all be proud of and celebrate their achievements thus far.”
He added that in 2021, the Department of Youth Empowerment will intensify efforts to establish a programme called Youth in ICTs and Mass Media. This programme is designed to equip and empower young people as digital citizens, and to incorporate and innovate ICT to improve their lives and livelihoods.